Master of Arts (MA)
First Committee Member
Number of Pages
This thesis seeks to explain how and why President Bill Clinton's 1993 attempt to drop the ban on homosexuals serving in the military was vehemently opposed by key stakeholders, even though empirical evidence strongly indicates that the ban is unwarranted and conflicts with America's democratic ethos; The theoretical framework for this paper is based on Roger Cobb and Charles Elder's writings on the political use of symbols. By manipulating cultural symbols, such as that of the masculine warrior, opponents of policy change forced Clinton into a compromise, the unsuccessful "don't ask, don't tell" policy. In torpedoing Clinton's effort, these antagonists employed the same rhetoric that conservatives used to oppose desegregating the military during World War II; Ultimately, this thesis argues that the best chance for dropping the ban involves bold and decisive executive branch leadership that must take into account anticipated problem areas of implementation.
Ban; Gays; Military; Reason
Political science; Law
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
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Cohen, Justin, "The ban on reason: Gays in the military" (2000). UNLV Retrospective Theses & Dissertations. 1194.
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